News

Opposition could boycott handing over of audit report over the PAC

“Disrespectful” is how the handing over of the Audit Office report to the Speaker in the absence of the Public Accounts Committee has been described. That report is expected to be handed over later this week. Member of Parliament David Patterson in a letter to Speaker Manzoor Nadir said that that the opposition members of the committee consider the handing over of report as disrespectful since the PAC which is yet to be convened is expected to examine that very report.

In his letter, Patterson is suggesting that the PAC meets on Thursday the 10th December, at 12:30, one and half hours before AG report is handed over, to convene the committee and elect a chairperson. Patterson tied the convening of this meeting to the opposition’s attendance to the handing over of the audit report as he said that the opposition members “see no benefit” in attending or “partaking in the pageantry” of that event.

Patterson, who is the chairman designate of that committee is on the record calling for the early convening of the committee. That last PAC met in August 2018 and Patterson has estimated that committee only did some 36% of the work that was before it.

Speaker Manzoor Nadir told this publication that there are scheduling issues in trying to convene the PAC and several other committees. He promised that the committees would be convened “very soon” as the Speaker said that parliament was mulling several options including holding a hybrid model of both virtual and in person meetings.